Youth Forum Dialogue Circles – Dealing with Stress

Dealing with Stress

Q1: Causes:

  • Tests
  • Relationship
  • What am I supposed to be doing in the summer
  • Future
  • Peer grading – evaluations
  • Listening
  • Spanish

Q2: How do you deal with stress?

  • “Make stress your friend”
  • Having goals that you can see
  • Looking back
  • Letting go of perfection

Q3: How do you know you’re stressed?

  • Heat
  • Nervous energy
  • Hard to think

Q4: How do you reduce stress?

  • Naps
  • Adjusting HW to something you’re interested in.
  • Reduce natural predisposition of stress
  • Psychologist
  • Less pressure from parents, focus more on a teens effort.

Round 2

Q1: What causes stress?

  • Routine of school and homework.
  • Bullying, mean, fear
  • Insecurity, feeling not good enough
  • Feel like giving energy, no point
  • Pressure for life planning, future
  • Can’t see future

Q2: I know I’m stressed when…

  • I get distracted
  • Not in present, in future
  • Can’t focus on task at hand
  • Frustrated
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Can’t sleep
  • Tension in gut, chest
  • Get snappy
  • Nervous
  • Hard to identify
  • Lack of motivation

Q3: How do you cope with stress?

  • Physical activity
  • Teasing, playfulness with sister
  • Lists, organization
  • Giving yourself a break
  • Rainbows & Butterflies (Solutions/Perfect World scenarios):
  • Meditation (IMC)
  • Hoop at the center
  • Learn to learn!
  • Bring your sister to school day
  • If future depended not on how well you did in school.

Stress feels like (emotionally):

  • A big weight
  • So much to do, you end up doing nothing.
  • Limiting you from being productive in addressing issues
  • Overwhelmed!
  • Tension between two points, not being able to let go of point to focus on another.
  • Tug at sternum, pulled back, hesitant to do one thing.
  • Difficult to breathe
  • Something bearing down on you.


  • College apps, college just feels stressful.
  • Giant wall of college that you don’t want to knock down
  • Academics related to future.
  • Catastrophize future in head.
  • Inconsistent level of instruction and examination.
  • Arbitrary assignments
  • Dealing with a system rather than a person.
  • THE GAP!!!

Solution:  Unlatch tests, exams, etc. from learning and future.

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